My sister and I are living in a bunker in my grandmother’s basement. There are two cots, a green area rug, a space heater, seven tins of homemade christmas cookies, not to mention a storage closet of non-perishable goods and a refrigerator housing any and all of my grandmother’s (the baker) supplies–nuts, dried fruits, milk, eggs, and butter. At one time, the bunker was the place to be. Every birthday party, christening, wedding anniversary, new year’s party, Christmas Eve dinner was held in the bunker. Really, it’s a party room, fully equipped with a bar, stools, Budweiser logo lights, 1950s style paneling, ash trays adorning the typefaces for Marlboro and Chesterfields!
I was afraid to go down there as a child.It could be haunted, I thought. There could be magic genies in all the old liquor bottles, ghosts of dead family members assuming there usual spots around the bar, watching the kids dance across the floor as they sipped their whiskey sours.
The calendar is still fixed on the date of the last party my grandparents threw. My first! February 22nd, 1991. There is something strange about it all, really–like a ghost town from the old west. A reminder of what my family’s life was like before I was born and the “change of times” as my grandmother says.
But presently, the bunker it not too bad. We have our own bathroom. There is even a separate entrance for us if we want to come in late and not disturb the rest of the house. And it’s kind of ironic that we’re down here. We are protecting our polished state of mind that Santa Fe lent us and we cannot seem to shake, consumed by complete acceptance of the change we are about to embark upon, not knowing what to do from day to day. The first night home, while chatting up my family and seeing old friends, I found myself saying, “It’s all good,” quite a bit. The energy of this state and its citizens is serving to be more than I asked for. There is a lot of hysteria. But, it is all good. I anticpate waking up each morning in the bunker, ready to say yes to any possibility the day has to offer.